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Guns are not silent on the northern front of kyiv

A Ukrainian soldier fires a mortar at Russian positions in the kyiv region. / Reuters | Video: ATLAS

Russia maintains the siege of the capital while attacking the east and causing at least fourteen deaths in a bombing in Mikolaiv

1,300 kilometers separate Istanbul from kyiv and the announcement made on Tuesday in the Turkish city by Moscow did not reach the north of the Ukrainian capital. Russia did not comply with the “drastic reduction of military activity” neither on the kyiv front nor on the Chernigov front. On the contrary. Since this announcement was made public, the skies of these cities registered an unusual activity and the explosions did not stop. Fighting continues and hundreds of civilians have once again been evacuated from combat zones. They arrived at the registration post in the capital exhausted and terrified, after spending weeks in cellars and bunkers.

If in the north some thirty night bombardments reached Chernigov itself, Bucha, Irpín, Vyshgorod and Brovary, in the south the most punished city was the port city of Mikolaiv. Fourteen people lost their lives in the offensive carried out by Kremlin forces in the region, and local authorities also reported that a building of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Mariupol was targeted by missiles.

The Ukrainian authorities kept the Irpín pass closed due to “security reasons”, but the rescue services worked intensely all day to evacuate the population and remove bodies from the streets. This city, together with Bucha and Hostomel, home to the military airport, has been the key point of the conflict and the Ukrainians have defended it with all means because it was the last barrier before reaching the capital. After losing control for three weeks, since Sunday there is no invasive presence on its streets.

Russia attack, live |  Last minute of the war in Ukraine

“After three weeks of occupation, the Russian troops abandoned their positions inside Irpin on Sunday, but their departure did not mean the end of the fighting because then they began to punish us with artillery,” says Vita. This 43-year-old woman, like the rest of the recently evacuated civilians, has endured to the limit, until the bombs have reached her house. Only then have they come out. “As soon as I arrived, the apartment-by-apartment looting began. They took everything they could. And what didn’t, they broke it. In our block, five neighbors lost their lives due to the bombings and their bodies spent seven days lying in the street, until they gave us permission to move them away at least to the forest, a forest that they have left full of mines.

The Police register the luggage of the new arrivals and their documents. There is a Red Cross post to treat the wounded and another with hot food and drinks. The strong media presence forced the security forces to cordon off the arrival area and put up ‘Stop Press’ signs. Faced with the impossibility of approaching the combat zones, these evacuated civilians are improvised correspondents who can report first-hand on the situation on the front lines.

incommunicado

“Announcement of reduction of military activity north of kyiv?” Aleksander replies, stunned, when questioned about the Istanbul announcement. “One of the first things the Russians did when they arrived was put us against a wall and force us to hand over our cell phones and computers. They smashed them right there. No telephone, no electricity… We have been isolated and incommunicado for more than three weeks. We don’t know anything about what is happening, but the explosions are getting louder,” says Alek-sander, who has left his house behind with his cat ‘Tom’. He describes Irpin as “a ghost town; there’s no one left.”

INHUMANITY:

  • Irpin.
    «In our block, five neighbors lost their lives and their bodies spent seven days in the street, until they allowed us to take them away to a forest full of mines»

From the Russian Ministry of Defense they reported a “regrouping of forces” on the kyiv front and explained that the strategy in the last month had been to keep the enemy troops entertained so that they did not reinforce Donbas. They assured that the objective had been achieved and that now they will focus precisely on “liberating” this part of the east of the country. Between the words of those responsible for Defense and those of the Russian negotiating team in Istanbul and the reality on the ground, a serious disconnection was perceived.

If the explosions did not stop in kyiv, the same thing happened in Chernigov. This city is 130 kilometers north of the capital and there the governor, Vyacheslav Chaus, turned to Telegram to denounce that, “after saying that they would reduce their activity, they have bombed us throughout the night destroying libraries, shopping centers and civilian homes. Can anyone take his word for it? Of course not”. This area, bordering Belarus, has been punished since the beginning of the war by artillery and aviation and experts from the Study of War strategic studies center quoted by ‘The New York Times’ indicated that “the Russians are preparing to take defensive positions along Snov river lake and have dynamited several bridges.

The ambulances did not stop bringing civilians throughout the day. An evacuation between the continuous roar of the gray sky of a rainy kyiv. With each passing day, deaths, destruction, and the number of refugees and internally displaced persons increase. The United Nations raised the number of Ukrainians who have left the country to four million; half, according to Unicef, children. A similar situation is repeated with internally displaced persons, whose number exceeds six million and more than half are minors.

In the midst of the negotiating process in Turkey and the clamor of war, President Volodímir Zelensky took the opportunity to speak with Joe Biden. He reported this “hour-long” conversation via Twitter. He said they spoke of “increased targeted defensive support and the arrival of macro-financial and humanitarian aid.” But civilians rescued from kyiv’s northern front knew nothing of the Russian statement in Istanbul, nor of their leader’s daily speeches. They were confused. “We no longer even know who is bombing, it is constant. Irpin is not so devastated, but Bucha is devastated », lamented Valeryi, who at 64 years old only the bombs on his own house have forced him to leave the city. His wife helps him clean the mud off his prosthetic leg. They are alive and their only thought now is to return home as soon as the bombs stop.

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